Featured Member - January 2019

Leon Whitmill

Outside of umpiring, what do you do for a living?

"I worked in the Transportation Department for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs for 32 years before I retired 2 years ago December 31. Now I am enjoying the relaxing life of retirement and I highly recommend it to everyone."

When and where did you begin umpiring?

"I began umpiring in organized baseball in the spring of 1972 at the age of 15 for the Perryville Little League. But 2 years earlier, at age 13, I was hired to umpire girls softball for $5 per game by the Perryville American Legion for a girls softball league they were forming.  I guess you can say I have been umpiring for 48 years, counting all I have done."

In what year did you join Harford County Umpires Association?

"I joined HCUA in 2003."

Where else have you umpired?

"Besides HCUA/Ripken I umpired for CUA/Ripken when Ripken baseball was born in 2002.  Other places I've umpired inclue the Perryville Little League, which I still do from time to time; Cooperstown Dreams Park, which, including this year, will be 17 consecutive years, NEOMA/High School baseball; the Semi-Pro League at HCC; and, Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken in Cecil County and Delaware."

What's been your proudest achievement in umpiring?

"There have been a few proud moments in my career: I have umpired 12u Little League district, regionals and state all-star tournaments.  I've also umpired Cal Ripken World Series scrimmage games and consolation games. I have umpired Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken State Tournament and championship games."

What was the strangest situation you've ever been involved with while umpiring?

"I guess the strangest moment was when I had to get between my partner and head coach during a heated argument over a call.  I was trying to get them apart, kind of keeping the peace so that the argument would stop. I say this was the strangest because they were both about 3-4 inches taller and 50-75 pounds heavier then me. I felt like David between 2 Goliath giants, it made me wonder, "What the heck am I doing here?"

Funniest heckle you've heard while umpiring?

"I guess the funniest heckle I've ever heard was a woman fan who yelled out after a call I had made that she didn't like. She said, Hey blue, Stevie Wonder could call a better game then you!”

Do you have a goal that you are hoping to achieve in 2019?

"My goal for 2019 is the same every year, and that is to do the best I can in every game I am doing by giving 110%. Also, I'd like to do as many games as I can."

What's the best advice you would give to a new umpire?

"My advice to a young umpire is what I tell all young umpires that I work with:  relax, have fun and call your game."

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